Air India is all set to become the first Indian airline to fly over North Pole. From August 15, the flag carrier of India will commence operations to San Francisco from New Delhi over the polar region. The inaugural flight would be piloted by captain Rajneesh Sharma and captain Digvijay Singh. Around 300 passengers will be there onboard the flight which would be operated by a Boeing 777.
Although, Air India has flights between India and North America over the Atlantic and Pacific sector, the polar routes are yet to be utilised.
As per industry reports, the launch of this new route is expected to reduce the flying duration by one-and-a-half hours approximately. In addition to this, fuel savings on the polar route will be in the region of 2 tonnes to 7 tonnes per flight. Also, the reduced carbon emissions will contribute towards eco-conservation.
Risk assessment, special crew training, weather monitoring and aircraft serviceability have all been assessed to ensure enhanced safety on this sector. In case of diversions, a special diversion support agency has been hired to assist in aircraft and passenger retrieval.